“When obsessive thoughts came into my mind, I learned to say the Serenity Prayer or the first three steps over and over, like a mantra.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 296
Recently, while driving through a small town, I received a speeding ticket. I had inattentively not seen the posted speed limit. Immediately, I felt embarrassment and shame, and began to emotionally kick myself for being so stupid. On the way to my destination, I repeatedly prayed the Serenity Prayer, trying to let go of the burden. It helped, but I knew I was still carrying some of the shame.
When I arrived, my hosts asked how the trip had been. I wanted to just say fine so they wouldn’t know what had happened. However, I wound up saying, “Fine, except for one incident,” and shared about the speeding ticket. They shared a similar experience they had been through. I no longer felt ashamed, carrying my own guilty secret. Instead, I felt connected and affirmed. Praying the Serenity Prayer and sharing what I was ashamed about with others helped me to let go of the toxic shame that could have sabotaged my recovery. I am grateful that in the SAA program, I have a safe environment to share my life and thereby break the cycle of shame that kept me bound all those years.
If I feel stuck, burdened, or trapped, the Serenity Prayer is a good place to start the path toward freedom.